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PL50663: Organised crime in Europe: threats and challenges

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, ES 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 33%)
  • Essay (ES 67%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: The units aims:
* To identify the main theoretical concepts adopted to analyse organised crime.
* To study the ways in which these issues constitute a challenge to the idea of the nation-state and democracy.
* To explore the extent to which these topics represent new and non-traditional security threats.

Learning Outcomes: On completion of this unit, students will be familiar with:
* A detailed/empirical understanding of organised crime in Europe
* The critical/analytical approach to the major issues raised by organised crime.
* The theoretical debates associated with organised crime and its relationship with politics.
* The ways in which organised crime challenges democracy (politics, economics and civil society)
* The security implications of organised crime for the EU.

Skills: The key skills the unit will hone and further develop are:
* Advanced research skills in identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature.
* Intellectual skills of conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument.
* Skills of assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing arguments and scenarios, including the reporting and assessing of qualitative and quantitative data.
* Generic and transferable skills related to the oral and written presentation of ideas.
* Skills of self-direction, self-evaluation and time management.

Content: 1. Defining organised crime
2. Explaining organised crime
3. Organised crime and civil society
4. Organised crime and the economy
5. Organised crime and its relationship with politics I
6. Italian organised crime in Europe
7. Non-traditional organised crime
8. Organised crime and its relationship with politics II
9. The fight against organised crime
10. Organised crime: challenging democracy.

Programme availability:

PL50663 is Optional (DEU) on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

PL50663 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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